U.S. History Civil War-Present Essay

Question 1

How did the bitter rivalry between the US and the Soviet Union develop after World War II? How did Truman and Eisenhower respond to the Soviet Union and Communism?
The cold war was an economic, political, and ideological confrontation that occurred between the Soviet Union and the United States that developed after World War II. The war was never about fighting on the battle field, but rather a war of tension and hostilities. The two nations avoided war on the battle field as they knew the consequences of such actions (Banks, 2000). During the world war era, these two nations were close allies together with Great Britain and France. After the immediate post war era, Soviet Union wanted an influential sphere in Eastern Europe since it had been invaded twice before by Germany in the twentieth century. U.S. agreed to these terms only if the governments in Eastern Europe would remain as independent entities and free from Soviet control (Banks, 2000).

However, these were not the intentions Soviet Union had as they wanted total control and domination over these States. These disagreements led to the establishment of conflicts that eventually manifested to the bitter rivalry between the Soviets and the United States. Both nations tried to prevent what they believed were the expansion plans of each other (Banks, 2000). The Soviet Union had a communist world perspective while the U.S. had policies that viewed the world in a Capitalist perspective. This is in accordance with the first answer given by Otremi Tal. According to the answer given by Otremi Tal, Soviet Union was anti-democratic people whose system was based on the absence of freedom. The above statement is true as Soviet Unions were after total domination of European states.

President Truman and Eisenhower initiated a programme in the federal government to root out potential communist (Banks, 2000). The statement further supports Burke Claire’s and Daniela Florin’s answers. They both established the Truman and the Eisenhower doctrines that aimed at abolishing communism. This direct approach used by the United States only further fuelled the rivalry between the two nations.

Question 2

How did this television show project a distortion of American life and culture during the 1950s?

The post-war period during the 1950s was an era of contrast. After the end of the great depression, Americans welcomed a consumer society, embracing traditional values and institutions. The end of World War II encouraged a consumer society. Since many nations got ravaged by the war, people started venturing into businesses to try and get back America’s economy to its feet (Banks, 2000). Big businesses dominated the global scene, number of jobs and wages increased, and people had financial security that they had not experienced in their life. Such prosperity led to an ideal myth of an Affluent America that got cultivated by American popular culture, such as television shows.

However, many Americans did not share in this prosperity. Immigrants, non-whites, and low-income families did not experience this good life that people so much talked about. Poverty, something that was not a topic of discussion during the 1950s engulfed a large proportion of Americans (Banks, 2000). In addition, the media did not do a good job in portraying this message. They, instead, showed images of an Affluent middle-class, hiding the destitute part of America that was suffering in the hands of poverty. Such messages got portrayed in films like “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.”

The above statement is further supported by answers from other students in the class. Claire Burke said that the media distorted the view of the public by propagating the Affluent society myth in the film, which is true. Also, Elisa Rodriguez shares the same view as she demonstrated in her answer how American life and culture got distorted during the 1950s.


Banks, J. A., McGraw-Hill Companies., & National Geographic Society (U.S.). (2000).Adventures in time and place. New York: McGraw-Hill.